-- The Loudoun County girls' tennis team had earned the chance to defend its Virginia AA title by making quick work of its recent opponents during singles play. The tables were turned on the Raiders in a 5-2 loss Saturday morning to Jamestown in the state final at Radford University.
The Raiders' Mary Kearl and Amy Sarver won their matches at Nos. 5 and 6 singles, respectively, but Loudoun County lost the four other singles matches -- all in straight sets.
When Jamestown's Whitney Ball and Kelly Maxwell defeated the Raiders' No. 2 doubles team of Lauren Dyer and Kearl, the Eagles (15-1) clinched a fourth state title in five seasons.
"They were better than us," the Raiders' Madison McGuire said. "Jamestown could have won the state title today no matter who they were playing."
Loudoun County (18-4) had closed out rival Loudoun Valley in the Region II final on May 29 and Abingdon in the state semifinals Friday. The Raiders won five of the six singles matches each time.
But it was Jamestown, which defeated Loudoun County in the Virginia AA semifinals in 2002, that took control Saturday during singles.
Mary Kate James defeated Mindy Hsiao at No. 1 singles, 6-2, 6-3, by using a powerful forehand and touch that kept Hsiao on the run. Kelly Collins defeated McGuire, 6-1, 6-0, at No. 2 singles.
Hsiao and McGuire had been key members of Loudoun County's state championship team a year ago, but acknowledged they were overmatched Saturday.
"I didn't really mind [losing] that much," Hsiao said. "I pretty much played the same game. She [James] had a lot of different shots. . . . Sometimes I was like, 'Wow,' when I got it back."
Maxwell defeated Loudoun County's Laura Halley, and Ball beat Dyer. And even though Kearl and Sarver turned in straight-set victories of their own, Jamestown's lead was 4-2 after singles.
After a short break, Ball and Maxwell dominated their doubles match against Dyer and Kearl, winning, 6-0, 6-0, to clinch the title.
"We honestly got beat by a better team," Loudoun County Coach Randy Hanger said.
George Mason Boys Cruise
None of George Mason's singles players was pushed beyond two sets as the Mustangs won their ninth Virginia A boys' title with a 5-0 victory over J.I. Burton.
Alex Goetting and Colin Ehmer, the top two players for the Mustangs, dropped only three games each. George Mason's nine state titles are a Virginia A record; Mills Godwin of Richmond has won a record 11 state titles in Virginia AAA and AA.
Handley Boys Stopped
Handley's bid for a third Virginia AA boys' team championship in four years was stopped by Hidden Valley, 5-2.
The Judges dropped four of the six singles matches, and Luke Wray and Scott Gunter provided the clinching point at No. 1 doubles.
This is just the second time in the past eight seasons that Handley has not won at least one state championship (team, singles or doubles) in boys' tennis.